Irish-American cop shot in the face has "challenging" road to recovery

John Moynihan
John Moynihan

Boston police have said an Irish-American cop who was shot in the face at a traffic stop has a "challenging" road to recovery.

John Moynihan had a miraculous escape after being shot at point blank range by a convicted felon, Angelo West, who was later shot dead by police.

Dramatic footage of the  March 27th incident has been released by the Boston police department and prosecutors.

The tape clearly shows police had not drawn their guns after pulling over a suspicious vehicle and shot West only after he had tried to kill officer Moynihan.

“In those instances in which video evidence can inform the public as to what happened and why, it is in everyone’s best interest to share that information as soon as possible in order to tamp down speculation and rumors meant to inflame and not to inform,” Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said at a press conference where officials outlined how the shooting happened. 

“Our goal going forward is to ensure that we are one people and one city.”

The Boston video shows the start of the shootout between police and West on Humboldt Avenue in Roxbury, which left West dead and Moynihan, a 34-year-old former Army Ranger, badly wounded.

The video shows the unmarked police car pulling over the suspicious vehicle after shots were fired in the neighborhood. West and an accomplice were both convicted felons.

None of the officers have their weapons drawn as they approach the car. Moynihan leans into the driver’s-side window.

A man identified by police as 41-year-old Angelo West jumps out of the vehicle, shoots Mr Moynihan in the face, and then runs out of the camera frame as the officer falls to the ground.

Authorities say West, who had a criminal record including prior gun charges, was killed as Mr Moynihan's fellow officers returned fire.

The decision to make the video public was made following the death of a black man in South Carolina after he was shot in the back by a white police officer. The shooting has rekindled a national debate over use of force by law enforcement.